Reserve Tuition Assistance

It may be news to you, but you don’t have to be an on-duty soldier to be eligible for tuition assistance through the military. However, the branch of reserves you belong to decides what kind you get and how you get it. So what does your chosen branch offer its reservists and is there a better option out there? Read on to find out.

The Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard all have their own reservists under their command and decide what kind of tuition assistance their reservists will receive. First off is the Army Reserves.

In the Army Reserves, you must complete the classes on your personal time though they will pay all of your tuition. You must have a degree plan and have enough time left with the reserves to complete the class while still a reserve and then sign up for an independent study class with the reserves afterward. Officers in this program must spend four more years in the program if they use the tuition assistance. This is very similar to what the active members get.

The Naval Reserve doesn’t have a tuition assistance program as of now. You either have to be active or you’ll get nothing. But if you’re activated under Title 10, you qualify for active Naval tuition assistance.

The Marines have pretty much the same policy as their parental branch. They don’t have any TA programs now either. Once again, if you’re activated under Title 10, you can get active Marine Corps tuition assistance.

The Air Force though does. They want to support their personnel in their quality of life movement and use this to their advantage. They’ll pay for 100% of undergrad programs and up to 75% of grad and PhD programs and only up to $4,500 annually.

The Coast Guard is the one branch that has standardized benefits for all their personnel, including reservists. They are entitled to all the same benefits as their active brethren such as 100% tuition but no fees.

If you’re looking to join the reserves to help you get through college, the Naval/Marines route obviously isn’t the way to go. The Coast Guard is the only one that gives all the same benefits as the active members, so that would probably be the best option for anyone looking for equality. The Army and Air Force have their benefits as well, but the Coast Guard is probably the best option for potential collegiate reservists as long as you don’t care about them not paying college fees.

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